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# Optional Essay to Address GMAT?

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Intern
Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 30
Schools: Wharton, Booth, Columbia (all round 2)
WE 1: Consulting

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21 Nov 2008, 15:00
I am within the 20/80 range, but closer to to the lower end of accepted scores. In terms of Q/V breakdown, I am weak on quant relative to verbal. Should I address my "low" quant score even though my total score is within the 20/80 range?
Current Student
Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 415
Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011

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21 Nov 2008, 15:06
As long as you have some quant coursework and/or your GPA is good I would not bring attention to a lower quant score. I think if you're above 80%, they won't deny you because of your GMAT. However, using the optional essay to talk about that might be looked at as bad judgement.
Current Student
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 1263
Schools: Ross 2012
WE 1: 5 Years at Fortune 50 Company in Manufacturing

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21 Nov 2008, 15:07
How do you know the 20/80 percentile score? Are you refering to the middle 80%, which would be the 10/90 percentiles?

I know I'm being difficult, so if you do go into the route of trying to explain it, make sure you understand it's the 10/90 percentiles or else they'll really questions your quantative skills..

To answer your question, unless you had a heart attack while taking the exam (or something similiar), I would say no. Because there isn't really much you can say about... it's an exam, it's over and focus on your strengths and why you're an amazing person.
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VP
Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1323
Schools: Tuck

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21 Nov 2008, 15:23
I agree with gobruins and yellowjacket. If you're in the 80% range, leave it alone.

Then again, how weak on quant? If you're still in the 70%+ range and your undergrad quant course grades are decent (B average or higher) I would leave it alone.

RF
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Director
Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 908
Schools: Kellogg '10

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21 Nov 2008, 16:00
I had a 46 quant (79%) and didn't explain it, but I have a moderate to decent level of quant/analytical work in college and my job. I figured that was enough. Plus, I had better things to talk about in the optional that was a positive thing to mention. No changing it now! (for me)
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Current Student
Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 17

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21 Nov 2008, 16:02
What is there to talk about really? If you're weak on quant, you're weak on quant. It's not really like classes and grades in school, for which there may be extenuating circumstances.
VP
Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1323
Schools: Tuck

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21 Nov 2008, 16:51
rca215 wrote:
I had a 46 quant (79%) and didn't explain it, but I have a moderate to decent level of quant/analytical work in college and my job. I figured that was enough. Plus, I had better things to talk about in the optional that was a positive thing to mention. No changing it now! (for me)

A 79% on quant is not worth bringing up. Anything above an 80% is fine. A 79% is close enough.

RF
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Current Student
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 197
Schools: Chicago Booth '11

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21 Nov 2008, 19:36
What about a low AWA score? See any reason in justifying that? I have no idea how I did so poorly - 4.0.

overall is 83%/84%--700 so I don't put too much concern on the GMAT but I just can't figure out how I bombed the AWA.
Manager
Joined: 12 Sep 2008
Posts: 64
Location: Dallas TX
Schools: HBS, Kellogg, MIT, Cornell, Texas, SMU, Washington (Olin)

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21 Nov 2008, 19:54
Re: the AWA, any chance you left notes typed in at the bottom? I was worried I had done that.

For either of these scores, I'm going to take a page out of my dad's book when I asked if I could borrow the mercedes: "Address the GMAT in the optional essay? NaaaaAAAaaaa."
Current Student
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 197
Schools: Chicago Booth '11

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21 Nov 2008, 19:59
could be. I seriously wondered if I deleted the whole thing before submitting or something. I didn't study much for it but I did study a little and I had reviewed 6.0 essays and developed a plan to mimic them. Again, no clue how a 4.0 happened. I have a friend who is a published author and has won many writing contests...he got a 4.5. Made me feel a lot better about the obscurity of the grading structure.
Manager
Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 215

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22 Nov 2008, 09:43
I scored terribly in the quant section (67%tile) (and that was the higher of my two scores!) and still got a 710 due to a 46 (99%tile) on Verbal. Odd thing for me is that I am a financial professional, (series 7, banking training program and corporate finance background).

It annoys the hell out of me that I did that poorly, but I didn't talk about it in my optional section at Kellogg, mainly because I think anyone looking at my application will be able to determine that I have strong quant and math skills from college finance and calculus classes, and relevant work experience. I don't know why the hell I did so badly in those tests, as I didn't do that badly in the practice tests.

I hope the test doesn't end up being a critical flaw in my application, but if schools like Kellogg and Chicago really mean what they say about looking at the "whole" you, I can't I am hopeful that the rest of application compensates.

Granted, if I get dinged from Kellogg in R1, I will retake the test again in time for Chicago R2.
Senior Manager
Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 278
Location: New York City
Schools: Ross, Darden, Yale SOM, Wharton, Kellogg (JD/MBA)

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22 Nov 2008, 15:23
Hey Manbehindthecurtain, I'm in a similar position to you numberswise but from a different background. I got a 44Q, 44V for a 710. I decided not to discuss the GMAT score on my application. I have some decent though nothing outstanding (B in Calculus 2 for scientists and engineers, B+ in Game Theory) undergrad coursework but nothing exceptional. My Kellogg interviewer asked my GMAT score and we ended up discussing the breakdown. His take was that I'm a nonprofit guy looking to do more nonprofit and will be taking mostly management classes at Kellogg and they know that and aren't going to sweat the 70% quant score. I'm hoping that that is sound advice.
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# Optional Essay to Address GMAT?

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